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tv   News  Al Jazeera  September 24, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT

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>> she said "dad, please don't leave me here". i said "honey, i don't have any choice". ♪ i can't wait for this. you are looking at live pictures right through from john f. kennedy airport in new york and pope francis expected to arrive in new york literally any minute now for the second leg of his trip to the united states and welcome everyone to al jazeera america special coverage live coverage of pope francis' trip to america, i'm tony harris in
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new york city. the pope arrives in the big apple after a historic nation in the capitol and addressed the congress and met with homeless people being assisted by catholic charities and had lunch with them. you are used to seeing his face by now i'm sure and we have the chair of the theology department at fortum university in new york. it's good to be with you. i've got to ask you, i have not been privy to a lot of your thoughts over the last couple of days guess what we have enough time coming up, i'm going to know everything about what you are thinking about this trip by this pope. but as we take a look at the helicopters that will take the pope from john f. kennedy international airport to downtown manhattan. >> manhattan heliport. >> sort of walk me through the day, we can get to the last couple of days in a second, but i want you to walk me through your thoughts on this day
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starting with the remarks, the comments, the speech before the joint meeting of congress. >> absolutely, tony. this was a historic day by any stretch of the imagination and he spoke with one of the four english-long speeches of the trip and seemed much more comfortable in that language today than he has in the past and the message he brought to congress was a message of hope, of optimism, but also a getting into the really important, the really thorny issues that are gripping people in this country and all around the world. so often times we think about state of the union addresses and we could think of this as the state of the world from the pope to the congress. we will hear the full state of the world address tomorrow when he becomes the fourth pope to address the united states. >> he previewed it a bit today. >> today was for domestic political consumption. this is a man by convention
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doesn't go into particular countries and tell their legislators how to vote and he is very aware, clearly very aware of the political context here in the u.s. hitting on issues like immigration, climate change, he talked about arms control, he called for an end to the death penalty. of course the u.s. is one of the few developed nations to have the death penalty. it was a persuasive speech, it was a good speech. we will talk more about it as the day goes on. >> let's bring in mike live from the white house, mike is that where you are now at the white house? >> here i am in the canon house building. >> great to see you and patrick is here as well and we will put together a nice little gumbo of conversations talking about this pope here and arriving in new york any moment now. in washington today you heard patrick tee you up a bit there. share with us your thoughts, first of all, the atmosphere, the mood being there on the
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scene listening to this joint meeting of congress. >> gosh, tony where to begin. we have a tendency in this country to look at politics as a binary proposition or in the pope's words polarzation and we cannot go with red state, blue state, liberal, conservative. i think the pope transcended that and as an individual who sat in the chamber many times and seen states of the union and leaders from around the world address joint meetings of congress this was something completely different. this was something where obviously he is speaking in a pastor context of the 1.2 million catholics and played to the crowd at the beginning calling the united states the land of dreams and afterwards appearing on the balcony of st. peter's square of the pope's apartment saying god bless america also something that went over very well and touched on
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the issues and refugee crisis around the world, death penalty, and abortion in an oblique and of course kind of way and bipartisanship and i thought that was interesting telling people look if you hate the other side sooner or later you become the thing i hate, i'm paraphrasing through but struck me as interesting and it was two issues immigration and climate change we are in the pastoral context and i thought it flowed from that what the pope had to say. first on the issue of immigration, let's listen to a little bit of what the pope did s say. >> thousands of persons have left to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones. in search of opportunity. it is not what we want for our
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own children. [applause] that of course the pope there speaking about the immigration issue, not climate change, we will get to that in a moment. it was interesting when the pope talked about immigration, you know, this is someone who very overtly the pope has spoken about the need for americans and he said this in his speech today to not treat the strangers among us as he phrased it poorly. when he spoke it was interest and i don't know if you noticed tony but the camera cut to marco rubio son of immigrants sitting below where it was sitting and it appeared that the republican of the president dabbed the side of his eye discretely as if he were dabbing away tears. issue of climate change the pope had some things to say, it was a subject he came back to time and time again and he started on the white house in his very first address publically in the united states on the arrival ceremony
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and let's listen to what he told congress today. >> i call for a coreagous effort to redirect our steps and for the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. i am convinced that we can make a difference, i'm sure. >> mike, as we look at the pope's plane certainly as you can see heading in, landing gear down, probably on final approach right now into jfk, john f. kennedy international airport and a moment ago you heard years and clearly this is final approach in the american airlines jet. delta is not pretty happy.
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>> or southwest, there was some discussion that the pope of the people he would fly southwest. >> he would fly southwest. and mike you are still there with us and let's just watch this touchdown together. >> whatever airline you know the pope's plane is known as shepherd one. >> that is right, and the touchdown. mike, i'm wondering how are members of congress reacting to the pope's remarks given that many of them have, as you know better than i do certainly, different opinions on some of the issues he took up and addressed today? >> yeah, and you know it's interesting tony the last sound bite we played the pope clearly saying the global warming is as a result in part of human activity. and at that moment the democrats on the democratic side of the isle in the house of representatives stood up and cheered and republican many climate change stepics if not deniers were reluctant to do so
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and they stood and cheered and that was a difference, for me illustrated the difference and sort of animated the environment in that chamber. often times, always respectful but often times reverential and don't think i go too far when i phrase it that way. it was really something completely different. most addresses in the chamber are from the state of the union on down whether it's world leaders or not it's political theatre especially the state of the union members leaping to their feet on cue when the pet subjects come up and ideological dog whistles and other cues that they perceive, knowing that the cameras are going to be looking at them, knowing they will be panned and the camera is going to cut to them to get to their reaction. in this case it was something completely different. i mean even when the pope again obliquely refers to abortion, not explicitly but clearly referring to abortion you know i was watching nancy pelosi a
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catholic and somebody who is prochoice and her expression really didn't change, she had the respectful look, she was in the center aisle watching as the pope was speaking and a moment later when he talked about his desire and long-held position for this pope and popes before him to abolish the death penalty there was a congress women, a democrat from the new york city area who sort of jumped up, forgot the add monday -- admonishing and not shouting out loud and to keep the atmosphere of decororum and realized she was the only one who was standing and cheering and she sat back down. really a special environment, tony, something that you don't see very often, every one on their best behavior. certainly the pope's words taken
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to heart by many members. >> moved by the spirit. patrick did you want to jump in there? >> absolutely, as mike was saying there is a different atmosphere here and the pope spoke perhaps more slowly than a president would and talking about his familiarity with english and the feel was there and we were watching it on camera. he was engaged as a pastor who knows that his religious views have political implications. he didn't get down into the nitty-gritty of the political implications but the themes and the concepts talking about the common good, talking about the dignity of every human life. as mike was saying before alluding to the church's position on abortion and where the tone of pope francis is so different from the tone of his predecessor and 16th would be ex explicit and he talked about protecting human life at every stage and preserving the family and you and i may think of those as code words for the catholic positions but i think they
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reflect part of his pastoral strategy and knows that everyone else knows what the catholic positions on those topics is and he wants to take the extra time to talk about the church's long held positions on all these other topics, economic inequality and talked about the arms trade and death penalty and people see francis and think he is preaching something different and in reality it's a difference of emphasis and of tone and doesn't mean it's not important. >> i want to come back to you on this one, mike, because there are so many moments here on this trip that, you know, you see the melting pot nation that this is and i'm thinking about yesterday and we will see it again as the pope makes his way to st. patricks today just how diverse this country is and thinking back on the senator rubio moment and mike help me senator rubio put forward a plan and i don't
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know how comprehensive you call it but put forward a plan for immigration reform and then essentially after being beat down by members of his own party had to withdraw that, so i'm just -- i'm wondering if you can shed some light on what this moment means for him and these moments that he has to be seen of this immigrant nation mostly immigrant nation as the pope referred to it, and what he has tried to do in his own legislative career. >> you know, the pope chose four people to -- he structured the speech around four examples of americans, what he considers to be exemplary mentions and martin luther king and more obscure they don't hear of is dorothy day and thomas mertin and it's
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instructive when you dig deeper, dorothy day was certainly someone her politics in the context of today's world she was active 100 years ago and more recently, certainly can be considered leftist. i mean she was part of socialist causes. she associated or was instrumental in something called the catholic workers daily, a publication. and the pope citing her. but not because of those reasons, not because of her politics but because of her work with what has been called many times a reference, the least among us, those who are poor, homeless and down trodden and without the resources to live this life, to compete in today's rat race society of materialism that the pope has spoken so often of and thomas mertin once you start looking into it as an individual who reached across to other faiths and i think he was speaking in the context to use the cuba, the united states and
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cuba brokered incidentally by pope francis to end reaching across to old enemies and the need for the united states and for everyone around the world to do that but i think it could be seen as a metaphor for the bipartisanship and need for politicians to lead. you know, and once you look at it in the context of what is happening all around us in washington no one needs to be reminded of the acromony that characterizes politics today and look to six days from now if i have my math right, october first when the government threatens to be shut down over lack of agreement by funding. >> patrick you saw the cardinal a second ago. >> watching the pope's plane pull up to the special jet way at jfk airport and said he would be greeted by brooklyn bishop and you may not know that brooklyn and queens sorry brooklyn falls in the roman
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catholic diocese and he has supervision over the diocese and he is well non-and affible and outgoing and talk a little about his politics and how they shifted between pope benedict the 16th when he was the leading figure opposing parts of the affordable care act and in some ways reinvented himself in the mold of pope francis. we see the pope's american airlines 777 pulling up just now. >> i want to do this because we are clearly transitioning from the pope's day in washington d.c. to the events here in new york city and i want to get to jonathan betz, look at this yacht, st. patricks cathedral where tonight pope francis will deliver the evening prayer service. jonathan, look, francis will be one, two, three, four, the fifth
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pope to visit the famed new york city cathedral and describe the energy you are seeing and feeling right there. >> tony, the fourth pontiff to visit new york city anicka cathedral as a pope and the energy here is building and a lot of people anticipating to see pope francis when he arrives here about 6:45 eastern time, in a couple of hours, there are thousands of people lining fifth avenue behind me here hoping to catch a glimpse of the holly father and have been waiting out here by the way for hours in the sun, waiting to see him. you will hear the people cheering behind me and they know what is happening. there is a lot of security and dignitaries have showed up to greet the holly father at st. patricks and mayor de blasio and cuomo expected to be here and 500 on the steps of st. patricks
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cathedral and the ones in yellow vests behind me and played a critical role in the restoration of the project and a lot of them are construction workers and restored st. patricks cathedral which was a three year, $177 million project, a very ambitious project, that was not supposed to finish until december so they rushed the job to finish this three months early in time for the holly father's visit here now in just about an hour or two. >> yeah, yeah, i wonder and patrick let me come to you and jonathan stay there and don't go any where but patrick i know there is a bit of controversy around what is it the project, the finishing the project, the renovation so as jonathan told us $177 million st. patricks cathedral and you were talking about immigrants was built of a church of the immigrants in the middle of the 19th century. >> really. >> in the middle of the 19th century the catholic church was not well regarded in the u.s. and was seen as for foreigners
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and italian were coming in and who founded the university here in the city said catholics needed to have a place of worship worthy of the name and began the project of constructing st. patricks cathedral not funded by wealthy catholic new york families but by individual donations of a penny or a dollar from individual catholics. at the time the space between 50th and 51st streets was way north of the city. people said archbishop why are you building there? the city will catch up with us. you asked about controversy. in the last couple years st. patricks had to be significantly redone, a significant cost. some people asked in the era of pope francis shouldn't that $177 million be better spent on something else especially at a time when as you know there are still the remnants of the clergy sex abuse crisis in the national church. >> that is right and jonathan let me come back to you, were are just moments away from
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seeing the pope here, and i'm wondering you talked about the people who are there on the steps of st. patricks but i want to know how many people, how many deep are round you there? >> i'll show you, tony. first off there is a major media contention here and pan to the side to show how many people are here and further beyond this platform as far as the eye can see up 5th avenue it's thousands and thousands of people, 20 deep on the sidewalks here. the sidewalks are completely packed with people hoping to get a glimpse of the holly father and honestly as you look at the cathedral behind me and talked about the renovation it is truly glorious and look at this, the best the cathedral has looked in 40 years, for the longest time the stone, the marble that lines it it was hard to tell the difference between the gray and white because it had been covered with so much soot and dirt now they have spent a consider amount of money as you
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just heard restoring this cathedral and the doors in front are 9,000 pounds, completely removed, rehung, refurbished and those are the doors that the holly father will be entering in just a short time. >> it's interesting you don't spend that much money unless it's an important site and you mentioned that more popes have been to st. patricks than any other church outside italy if i have my research right on this. >> that is right. >> tell me why that is the case. >> because they call this america's perish church, it's home is the seat of the arch diocese and the city has 10 million catholics within new york and the surrounding suburbs so this is without question the must-stop destination for any pontiff that visits the united states, all four who came here as pope have come here and i think it says a lot this is the first stop for pope francis when he arrives in new york city. >> patrick, we are clearly moments away now and what are your thoughts, the pope -- this
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is the first time this pope has been to the united states. >> absolutely, therefore the first time he has come to new york city. >> so your thoughts now as we are just moments away from seeing the pope, i know we will hear a tremendous roar because we have heard it every step along the way >> beloved by catholic and non-catholic coming to new york a city of immigrants. >> yes, yes. >> spent so much time talking about immigration and also a city that is the capitol of the world's financial enterprise and a critic of what he calls unfettered capitalism and it's interesting when he comes to the city which is just as well-known for wall street as st. patricks or central square garden or central park and it's interesting to see how he addresses that. >> when you think of the comments of the pope that has has made already he could make some news here, couldn't he. >> and there he is. >> there is the roar. let's sort of listen to this.
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[crowd roaring] success and who is there patrick? >> that is bishop of brooklyn, two senior leaders in the new york area and he was closer to the pope because it actually is the land of his diocese where he landed and seeing behind the pope the members. >> i was going to ask you. >> the gentleman behind him is a senior named mark miles and he has been serving as the pope's translator through the whole trip and he is traveling with the vatican secretary of state
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called cardinal lee and traveling with cardinals and church leaders from around the world and interesting a younger cardinal from the philippines called lewis and some people pointed to as a bishop, a cardinal in the mold of francis and possibly a successor to pope francis when the day will come. a very interesting group of people and you can hear in the background tony the level of cheers and enthusiasm and greeting children. >> and children again. >> he gave a special blessing to children this afternoon or this morning rather from the steps of the capitol building saying the children are the future and wanting to make sure that he extended his pastoral care to him and see him blessing the one little girl there and the other children as well, we are told that there are around 200 people who are there ranging from homeless persons serving by charities to local high school students to perishioners and d
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diverse to see the pope. >> what do you think of his style and i watched a bit of the coverage and my goodness that smile lights up the area he is in and beyond. >> that is exactly right. one of the words he uses so often in spanish is simply joy, he talks about the joy of the gospel, that was the title. >> go forward, go forward, right. >> he said to the bishops yesterday we should not be harsh and show the gospel in all we do. >> go forth, proclaim the joy of the gospel. >> absolutely, that is part of his message. part of his message is the church needs to be a happy, joyful place and shouldn't be populated with notaries and bureaucrats so this is a man who we have seen him on this trip smile and be energized when he is around people, not necessarily as much in the major
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ceremonies with the white house watching and the bands. >> in the procedural things of people, he engages with people, right? you see it all over his face. >> that is exactly right. and so there is a balance within religious tradition between what it believes and how it acts. his predecessor was a lot about the beliefs, pope francis has been talking a lot more about the way the church is in the world. not to say he doesn't focus on the beliefs. but he talks about how the church should be -- how bishops and priests should be pastors to people. >> shouldn't be an insular institution and a christian finds joy in mission. >> absolutely and we see this here and he is once again on the rope line going through and greeting people, some of the best photos from the last few days tony have come outside the vatican embassy in washington d.c. where he lights up and goes over with some kids and teenagers there and he seems to really, really enjoy it. >> go out without superiority,
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without condescention and proclaim the good news and wade in which is what he has been doing along this trip. >> absolutely so it's interesting we have seen similar things. yesterday i think maybe the most important speech for a church audience on the visit he met last night or yesterday afternoon with the bishops of the united states and the relationships between this pope and the u.s. bishops has not always been entirely warm, some conservative catholic bishops here said they didn't think he paid enough attentions to the priority of national catholics, this is the sort of criticism that liberal bishops. >> we talked about that. >> the sort of criticism that liberal bishops would not have made of his more conservative predecessors to use those words so the encounter with the bishops could have been tense but he modelled the sort of pastor and said i'm not here to judge you or correct you, but and then he said i want this to be a church that is joyful, that goes out to meet people, he says we should have a special care for the immigrant, we shouldn't be decisive or harsh and i think
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it's fair to say that was criticism in muted tones of what we might call the culture warrior mentality of some u.s. bishops and not all by any stretch of the imagination. >> maybe my perception is all wrong but i love how he seems to be a man so at peace with common folk. >> yeah. >> and seems to be speaking up to power. >> absolutely. there is a thing so the pope is a jesuit member of jesus and the first jesuit pope and going back to the 1500s are indifferent and what they meant by that is not that you shouldn't care but if you are with rich or poor people, if you are healthy, if you are sick you should find a way in the space you are to spread the message of god and that is incredible because jesuit have been all over the world and king and princess and
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in the 80s and work with the poorest of the poor and we are seeing and have been seeing for the last 2 1/2 years a master class of jesuit. >> jesus embraced life as he found it the pope said yesterday. underty, unkept or broken, embrace life as it is and not as you think it should be. >> that's right. that was his speech to the bishops and so one of the things that he talks about is he said that priests and bishopshould have what he calls the smell of the sheep. this is a traditional metaphor in christianity. >> if you are a kris christian. >> you should not be disengaged from your people and hard to say the words right here but if they were sheep and he was the shepherd he would have the smell right on him right now and you asked before about what it is that attacks people to this pope, it is precisely this sort of thing, no matter who you are
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and no matter where you come from, what station you have in life this man is going to regard you as a human being created in the image of god. >> jonathan betz i know you are still there because you will be there a while and if you would walk me through as the pope walks the rope line walk me through what happens next. >> so tony he will board a helicopter at jfk airport and air rooif at the downtown heliport downtown manhattan and he will greet dick tarrys and slowly go to midtown manhattan and part will include a transfer to the pope mobile where he will be riding through that through parts of midtown manhattan along fifth avenue where thousands and thousands of people are lining the streets here, hoping to capture a glimpse of him, there is a lot of heavy security as you can imagine, a lot of streets here are blocked off and gridlock across new york at this time because of the pope's arrival and here

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